The Walk Eye
Smart guidance system for the Visually Impaired
According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired out of which approximately 39 million are legally blind. Vision impairment has a significant negative effect on quality of life, which is directly linked to the lack of independent mobility.
The Walk Eye aims to increase the mobility of visually impaired individuals. The smart device designed has a low learning curve, it works in coherence with the user’s skills and forms a highly reliable obstacle avoidance/ guidance system.
The system employs a set of Ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles and notify the user about the direction, proximity and motion of obstacles ahead of them. The user is alerted by sounds emitted through speakers or by vibrations on special bone conduction points.
The user has the option to shift between these two output modes. Mostly the alerts are used to second
the user’s intuition. The product stops beeping if an obstacle distance has not changed in 10 sec, this
is so that when the user is having a conversation with someone the system will not keep bothering them.
The Walk Eye presents multiple advantages over existing products. Apart from having aesthetic benefits and being waterproof, the product benefits from its low learning curve. The learning curve is kept low as most users are above the age of 50. The product is also extremely lightweight (250g) as it has to be used throughout the day. It is made economical as is primarily to be used by people in 3rd world countries.
Further user testing needs to be performed as it was hindered by national lock-down during the process. Few refined prototypes should be created with the input of manufacturers and given out to visually impaired individuals so they can use the product in their day to day life. Feedback from the users should be used to further fine tune the product. A circuit board should be designed and printed as it will significantly reduce the size of the product. Finally the product should be mass produced and provided to visually impaired individuals firstly in third world countries, which can be followed by spreading it to the global population.